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Avengers Fridays

Earth's Mightiest Costumes: Ms. Marvel

Take a look back on Carol Danvers' various wardrobe and identity changes

"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!"

As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!

So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!

By TJ Dietsch

Air Force Security Chief Carol Danvers first appeared in 1968's MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #13 as a mere powerless human. Several years later, in 1977, she made her debut as the mighty Ms. Marvel after gaining powers thanks to an explosion of Kree technology in MS. MARVEL #1.

Carol would go on to fight alongside the Defenders, X-Men and, most consistently, the Avengers. Danvers went from her original Ms. Marvel identity to adventuring as a cosmic being named Binary and, at one point, went by the name Warbird, with several costume changes thrown in along the way.

Now, as a member of the New Avengers, Danvers continues fighting the good fight alongside her fellow heroes under her familiar moniker.

Original Costume
After getting blown up and saved by Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers gained super strength, speed and a seventh sense that would put her consciousness to sleep and allow Ms. Marvel to fight the prophesied problems. Her first costume consisted of a one-piece outfit with built-in gloves and an exposed mid-riff somewhat scandalous by 1977 standards. She also rocked a scarf and boots. The look might be a little dated by today's standards, but back then it proved pretty hot stuff. The real question though: how did she get in and out of it?

Classic Costume
Soon after first meeting up with the Avengers, Ms. Marvel got a full-on costume change in 1978's MS. MARVEL #20. She ditched her original outfit in favor of a black affair with lightning bolt chest graphic, thigh-high black boots and separate black gloves. Of course, the costume design came from resident Avengers fashionista Janet Van Dyne, who kept a bit of the old look in the form of a red sash around the waist. Ms. Marvel wore this costume when she took over for Scarlet Witch on a temporary basis in AVENGERS #183.  

Carol stuck with the black costume all through her ordeal with a villain named Marcus, who impregnated her with a version of himself. Later, on a mission into space with the X-Men in 1982's UNCANNY X-MEN #164, Carol found herself at the Brood's mercy as they experimented on her unique genetic composition. Eventually saved by Wolverine, Carol discovered that the Brood tampering had made her much more powerful and able to tap into cosmic energy. She took on the name Binary to reflect her new, star-like appearance. While in the Binary guise, Carol wore a white bathing suit-like torso piece along with white thigh-highs and gloves accented by her red skin and flaming head. Her new powers allowed Binary to kick around space for a while, teaming up with the Starjammers, before ultimately coming back to Earth during "Operation Galactic Storm," which drained Carol of most of her cosmic powers.

With her Binary powers depleted, Carol returned to the classic black costume, rejoining the Avengers in 1998's AVENGERS #4, but taking on a new name: Warbird. Things didn't go well for the heroine, though, as her past trauma caught up with her and lead to a bout with alcoholism that got her expelled from the team. After getting help from Iron Man with her drinking and power problems, Danvers eventually got a brand new look to go along with her new codename. The Warbird duds consisted of a basic body suit with padding-on-the-outside.

Back to Basics
Eventually returning to her classic look and name, Ms. Marvel has been making a name for herself with her own title and important roles in stories like Civil War and Secret Invasion. Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers facilitated the return of Carol's original look as worn by Moonstone. Now, Ms. Marvel's back with the Avengers appearing in NEW AVENGERS.


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The Warbird costume was my fav although I do miss binary :D


Still love the original. Might not be practical but don't mess with success.


is it possible to get the artist's names wo rendered the samplings? wish there was a better featuring of the Binary version too - exceptionally crafted design i thought.


coolz please do Phoenix Jean Grey next.